The three-day 2011 Inglis Easter Broodmare Sale came to a close at Newmarket on Thursday with over $22 million traded over the total three days.
Over the three sessions that bought in a total of $22,193,800, the top-line purchase of the 308 mares sold was the former Bart Cummings-trained Group 1 winner Allez Wonder.
Five-year-old Redoute’s Choice mare Allez Wonder was bought on day two of the sales for $1 million by mining magnate Nathan Tinkler.
Yesterday’s third session saw the classy Canny Lad mare Irongail (reserve $580,000), Sydney Cup winner Jessicabeel ($500,000) and flying three-year-old Chance Bye ($350,000) all passed through the ring.
Snitzel filly Chance Bye gave Kembla Grange-based owner and trainer Michael Tubman one of Australia’s best fairytale stories.
A part-time carpenter and true Aussie battler, Tubman had to take out a loan to buy Chance Bye for a modest $15,000 two years ago and she quickly repaid him winning her first three starts.
On debut she stormed home three and a half lengths clear in the $250,000 Inglis Nursery (1000m) at Randwick in 2009 before winning the $250,000 Inglis Classic (1200m) the following January and then became a stakes winner at her third start when victorious in the Group 2 Silver Slipper Stakes (1100m).
The Silver Slipper Stakes success saw Chance Bye make the coveted Golden Slipper field in 2010, but the brave filly only managed to finish fourth lengths away ninth to winner Crystal Lily.
Tubman made the original decision to sell his stable star after Chance Bye pulled up lame following her last place finish in the Group 3 Birthday Card Stakes (1200m) upon resuming at Rosehill on March 26 this year.
Over her career Crystal Lily started 13 times for four wins and five minor placings earning over $2.6 million in total prize money making her a valuable broodmare prospect.
Tubman always said he wasn’t in racing for the money and he proved that when he turned down a $340,000 offer for his beloved filly at yesterday’s sales, the offer just $10,000 short of her reserve.
“Do you know how hard it is to say no to $340,000?” Tubman said.
The 62-year-old Tubman and part-owner Jack Knight are now set to breed foals themselves taking on the ultra-rich stud farms having made a deal with the Hunter Valley-based Widden Stud.
Chance Bye will be sent to sire Sebring, the 2008 Golden Slipper winner now in his second season at stud.
A business man underneath it all, Tubman has scored a discounted rate from the advertised service fee for Sebring of $49,500 (plus GST).
“Jack (Knight) really didn’t want to sell her,” Tubman said.
“But I was worried about the ongoing costs and getting old.
“But he said, ‘Don’t worry about it, I’m older than you’, and he has got plenty.”
Jessicabeel and Irongail remain for sale.
“There is no doubt that it was a very selective market here at Newmarket over the past few days,” Inglis Managing Director Mark Webster said.
Fetching the highest price at Thursday’s sale was Isle Of Gibraltar, the Group placed daughter of Danehill sold to New Zealand’s Blandford Lodge for $350,000.
Isle Of Gibraltar is reported to be in foal to esteemed Coolmore Australia’s sire High Chaparral.
Other notable purchases on day three of the Inglis Easter Broodmare Sales included Encosta de Lago mare Enduja ($300,000) – in foal to Shamardal with a Lonhro colt at foot – and Fastnet Rock mare Crystal Wit ($280,000).
Crystal Wit was in foal to Stratum, the impendent offspring to be a three-quarter-sibling to last year’s Golden Slipper winning filly Crystal Lily.
Figures from the sales were up on last year with the average for 2011 being $72,058 and the median $30,000.
“Breeders have done a tremendous job meeting the market with yearlings this year on the back of peak production costs,” Webster said.
“It was evident however that this will go down as a year where they are looking to consolidate without having surplus revenue to reinvest on breeding stock.”
Following the Inglis Sales at Newmarket, buyers will now focus their attention on the 2011 Inglis Melbourne Autumn Yearling Sale at Oaklands the first of two days starting this Sunday April 17.
Regarded as the value sale of the country, this year’s 469-yearling catalogue at the Inglis Autumn Yearling Sale is dominated by Super VOBIS qualified entries.
Some of the most thriving thoroughbreds sold at previous editions of the Inglis Autumn Yearling Sale include Pompeii Ruler, Grand Journey, Broadway Harmony, Secret Flyer and Grand Britannia who all sold for modest prices.
More recent champions to have come via the Oaklands sale ring include Starspangledbanner and the current highest-rated racehorse in the world Black Caviar.
Top class sires such as Black Caviar’s father Bel Esprit, Choisir, Hussonet, Lonhro, Reset and Red Ransom all have progeny on sale this year.